Career Success Advice on Networking During the Holidays

Liz Goodgold is a branding expert, author and speaker.  Early last week I received an email from her that had some great career success advice.  It was called “Can You Network Your Way to a New Client or Job During the Holidays?” and contained some great common sense advice.

I sent Liz and email asking if I could use her advice here and she graciously said yes.  Here’s what she has to say about networking during the holidays…

The holiday season gives you a chance to kick your business networking into high gear this holiday season. It could easily land you a new client or even a new job! Why?

There are seemingly endless events. Make a plan to attend one new association event.

Holiday cheer makes attendees feel more relaxed, social, and even inclined to “pay it forward” by helping colleagues. What’s your plan to help someone else?

Initial contacts can easily lead to informational meetings as professionals tend to have more time on their calendar for lingering lunches or coffee. Time to bulk up your calendar with meetings!

Less ambitious competitors have given up on working giving you the opportunity to seize mindshare. Yep, your networking can pay off if you remember to give before receiving and work on your follow up!

New job openings or projects may have been budgeted for the new year, but not staffed giving you the early heads up. The early bird catches the worm and the work!

This is some great life and career success advice from Liz Goodgold, Branding Expert, Author, and Speaker. Sign up for her FREE Brand Finale newsletter with valuable information at”

But when you’re out there networking this holiday season don’t forget the career success advice in Tweet 128 in my career advice book Success Tweets.  “When meeting someone new ask yourself, ‘What can I do to help this person?’  You’ll build stronger relationships that way.”

As Liz reminds us, pay it forward.  This reminds me of an inspirational movie I sent to my subscribers a while back.  It’s called the 100-0 principle.  The principle is simple.  The best way to build solid relationships is to take 100% responsibility for them.

In 2009 I participated in a writing project with my colleagues at the Creating WE Institute.  We published a little book called, 42 Rules for Creating WE.  The rules were short essays that contained a lot of great career advice.  I contributed three rules.  One was called, “There is No Quid Pro Quo in WE.”  This rule goes directly to the idea of paying it forward.  I’d like to share the career advice in this essay – with a few minor edits – with you here.

WE is built on relationships; the idea that we are all connected, and that through a WE-centric, rather than a traditional I-centric approach, our collective wisdom grows and evolves.  This kind of thinking creates stronger organizations and societies.  It fosters mutual shared respect for the unique contribution every person is capable of making.  Solid, lasting, mutually beneficial relationships are at the core of WE.  Giving with no expectation of return is a great way to create these types of relationships.

This is a quid pro quo world: you do for me and I’ll do for you.  While there is nothing wrong in reciprocating a good deed or a favor, there is a fundamental problem with quid pro quo.  It is reactive not proactive.  Too many people wait for others to go first.  They adopt the attitude, “When and if you do for me, I’ll do for you.”  This scarcity mentality is not conducive to creating WE, or building strong relationships.  When you come from a scarcity mentality, you focus on holding on to what you already have.  This can prevent you from receiving what you might possibly get.

On the other hand, giving with no expectation of return comes from a proactive abundance mentality.  When you give with no expectation of return, you are acknowledging the abundance of the universe.  You are demonstrating faith that the good you do will benefit others close to you and the world at large – and that good things will come back to you.

Giving with no expectation of return is ironic.  I have found that the more I give, the more I receive; often from unlikely sources.  But that’s not my reason for giving – and I hope it is not yours.  The best reason for giving is the basic joy of making a difference in other people’s lives and in creating a WE-centric world.

I love the Liberty Mutual Insurance “responsibility” ads.  They are a very visual demonstration of the ideas behind creating WE – especially giving with no expectation of return.  You’ve probably seen them.

They begin with someone going a little out of his or her way to do something that benefits others; picking up a piece of trash, opening a door for another person who’s hands are full.  Another person observes this and goes out of his or her way for someone else.  The cycle repeats several times during the ad.  The message is clear.  We are all better off when we help each other.

In the end, giving with no expectation of return comes down to your mentality – scarcity or abundance.  If you come from a scarcity mentality, you will live by quid pro quo, and perpetuate the I-centric status quo.  If you come from an abundance mentality, you will give with no expectation of return and begin to create a WE-centric world and create the kind of strong, mutually beneficial relationships that will help you create the life and career success you want and deserve.

I choose abundance and paying it forward.  I agree with Winston Churchill, who once said, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”  When you give with no expectation of return you will get a good life.  You’ll also get a better world; one in which we all look out for one another.

The career success coach point here is simple sommon sense.  Youwill  have many networking opportunities this holiday season.  But if you want to make the most of your networking opportunities, pay it forward.  Follow the career advice in Tweet 128 in Success Tweets.  “When meeting someone new ask yourself, ‘What can I do to help this person?’  You’ll build stronger relationships by thinking this way.”  Paying it forward is the opposite of quid pro quo.  In networking situations, going first – giving of yourself to help someone else, with no expectations of return – helps you lay the foundation for a successful relationship.  When you wait to reciprocate a good deed by another person, you are engaging in quid pro quo behavior that can result in lost relationship opportunities.  Do yourself a favor, follow this career advice when it comes to relationship building this holiday season – pay it forward.

That’s my career advice prompted by Liz Goodgold’s advice on networking this holiday season.  What do you think?  Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment.  As always, thanks for reading my daily musings on life and career success.  I value you and I appreciate you.

PS: If you haven’t already done so, please download a free copy of my popular career advice book Success Tweets and its companion piece Success Tweets Explained.  The first gives you 140 bits of career success advice tweet style — in 140 characters or less.  The second is a whopping 390 + pages of career advice explaining each of the common sense tweets in Success Tweets in detail.  Go to to claim your free copy.  You’ll also start receiving my daily life and career success quotes.

PPS: I opened a membership site on September 1.  It’s called My Corporate Climb and is devoted to helping people create career success inside large corporations.  You can find out about the membership site by going to http://www.mycorporateclimb.


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